Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government.

Fatality #5 - February 25, 2008

Accident Classification: Machinery
Location: Wash Plant, Illinois
Mine Controller: Georgia A Pavin
Mine Type: Surface
Mined Material: Construction Sand and Gravel
Incident Date/Time: February 25, 2008 04:00 pm

Charles S. Nemetz, general superintendent, age 62, was fatally injured on February 25, 2008, when the track-mounted excavator he was operating broke through ice covering a water-filled ditch. Nemetz was using the excavator to free a dragline frozen to the ice-covered pit floor. 

The accident occurred because management policies and procedures failed to address the hazard created by an ice-covered, water-filled ditch. All hazards associated with the task were not identified and appropriate controls were not in place to ensure that persons could safely perform the task. Barricades or warning signs, visible from all approaches, were not erected to warn persons of a hazard that was not immediately obvious. 


METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On February 25, 2008, a 62 year-old manager with 28 years experience was fatally injured at a surface sand and gravel operation. He was using an excavator to free a dragline from an ice-covered pit floor. The excavator broke through the ice as it traveled over an ice-covered, 10 feet deep ditch towards the dragline. The victim was ejected and was recovered from the water about six hours after the accident.